Much thanks to the Duck for his review of this film, which led me to include the DVD in my latest order from Amazon Japan. I was able to find a set of soft-subs for it that seem to be reasonably accurate (and were apparently used to subtitle the bootleg DVDs that people were selling on Amazon US for a while). It’s a gorgeous, ugly, moving, and quite sad film, and Joe Hisiashi’s score suits the material perfectly.
The few non-Duck English reviews I’ve found come at it with an axe to grind, making them basically useless for evaluating the film. Oddly, they all seem to think that no one outside of Japan would be interested, which says more about them than it does about the film.
It’s not available on BluRay, but the image quality is still superb (Handbrake ripped it at 850x364). Sample screengrab below, from late in the film.